Three years ago, one NFL team learned a costly lesson when their game was cancelled amid furious controversy moments before kickoff. Television images captured the root of the problem when layers of tough artificial turf were peeled back, leaving viewers with the only graphic images from a game that just wasn't going to happen. The fans, managers, and players were livid, TV audiences sulked away, aiming their remotes at other stations, and high-dollar advertisers wanted a refund. Total damage: an $8 million loss in revenue and some measure of embarrassment. It wasn't a good day.
A sports turf professional recently added this insight: "The field is the game's foundation. If it's unsafe, you place the entire franchise at risk. A $20 million QB can fall hard and spend the rest of the season in recovery. Or the field is condemned, posing another threat, one that packs a punch to the team's revenue. The condition of the field can be our worst nightmare, or an answer to dreams."